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Choosing a Skip Bin Size without Guessing

News > Choosing a Skip Bin Size without Guessing

When our consultants are talking to potential customers about their needs one of the main issues is how big a skip bin do you think I will need? Without seeing the materials first hand it is very difficult to answer this question because not every house has the same contents and not every couch, fridge or hole in the ground have the same dimensions. Our experience helping our customer's workout what size skip bins they need means we have a few tricks that will help find the answer to that question without guessing. The first thing we ask is "What are you going to put in the bin" and the answer to this question is our first clue to what skip we would recommend.

A Common Measure

The best unit of measure to estimate what volume of waste there is, is a measure you are familiar with, hence we suggest common measures like buckets, barrows, wheelie bins and box trailers.  Even though buckets come in all shapes and size many people can picture their waste in these terms.  The average bucket is about 10 litres these days, so it will take 200 buckets of waste to fill a 2-cubic metre skip bin. Similarly, the average builder?s wheel barrow is about 250 litres, so that is 8 wheelbarrow loads to fill a 2-cubic metre skip bin.  Wheelie bins are similar as most councils are supplying either 250 or 320 litre wheelie bins, so there are 3 of the larger bins to the metre or 6 wheelie bins to fill a 2-cubic metre skip bin.


Skip Size Estimation Infographic
Skip Bin Size Estimation

And last but not least is the humble 6 x 4 trailer! Yes most people can visualise their waste in terms of trailers loads as that reminds them how many trips to the tip they won't have to make.  One level loaded 6 x 4 trailer loaded level with the top of the bin is the equivalent of 1 cubic meter of waste.  That means getting a 4m bin will save you 4 trips to the tip.

Sand, Soil or Similar

When the bin is for concrete, bricks, soil or similar material we can calculate the best sized skip that will be needed.  For these heavier materials it often a case of working out what the solid volume of the material is and then calculating what the volume of the materials will be after they have been thrown in the bin.  Sizing the skip bin comes down to what expansion is likely to occur when you put the waste in the bin.  Digging up soil, or breaking up a wall or concrete introduces air or space into the mix. In some cases this can make the soil, bricks or concrete twice the volume it was before you started.

Digging soil for a Clean-fill Skip Bin
Digging soil for a Clean-fill Skip Bin

Bulky Items

The largest item that needs to go in the bin can sometimes be the key to what size skip bin will be needed. This is usually the case when a customer says they have wood, timber, asbestos or bulky furniture.  With the bulky materials it usually comes down to a question of whether you are going to have enough time to cut the material to fit the size of the bin or whether it would be a better idea to get a bigger skip bin so the waste can be put in the bin in one piece (or larger pieces).

Bulky Items are often best flat-packed to be placed in a skip bin
Bulky Items are often best flat-packed to be placed in a skip bin
  • Authored By:Steve Shergold
  • Updated:02/09/2020